The stories of the month: Communications

The Charity Commission opened more complaint cases into the RSPCA last year than it did about any other charity. The commission’s response to a request by Third Sector under the Freedom of Information Act show that it opened 17 complaint cases into the RSPCA in 2015, with Oxfam, the British Red Cross and the Camphill Village Trust, a charity that manages communities for disabled people, in joint second place with seven apiece. The animal charity was also the most complained-about charity in the year to March 2014, the last time Third Sector requested the information. A spokesman for the RSPCA said that none of the complaints against it resulted in a statutory inquiry by the commission.

The League Against Cruel Sports has described a newspaper article accusing it of spending a £3.5m legacy on pay rises for staff as a "shameful, politically motivated and unfounded attack". The Times claimed the animal welfare charity went on a "spending spree" after receiving a £3.5m bequest from the millionaire industrialist Stan Hales in 2013, including giving all of its staff a minimum 10 per cent backdated pay rise. It also criticised the Charity Commission for not taking more seriously unspecified complaints about the league that were brought to it by a whistleblower. But a spokeswoman for the league said: "The story is a shameful, politically motivated and unfounded attack referring to a legacy bequest of £3.5m, which we are alleged to have wasted – but the truth is we haven’t spent any of it yet."

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